What Caused My Nerve Deafness?
So far all the hearing problems we have discussed in my past post arise from conduction defects. Nerve deafness is different. Here the trouble may not affect the middle ear, but may arise from some process involving either the innder ear, the auditory nerve, or perhaps the hearing center of the brain.
Most of these conitions come on later in life, but occasionalyy a child is born with partial or complete nerve deafnes. Such children should always be given special training in lip reading and speech therapy.
Older people with nerve deafness often complain of ringing in the ears. This ma be more or less continous. For this condition doctors usually prescribe large quantities of vitamins A, B1, and niacin.
Nerve deafnes in older people sometimes arises from hardening of the arteries, especially those leading to the ears. As the condition progresses, the patient may not be able to distinguish between such common sounds as the ringing of the doorbell, the ticking of a watch, or the sound of the telephone. Nerve deafness may also arise from influenza, measlesm and other virus infections. Sometimes the use of drugs, tabacco, and alcohol will cause a degeneration of the nerve ending within the cochlea or hearing organs itself. When the semicircular canals are also involved, the patient may then complain of dizziness. Merely discontinuing the use of tabacco, alcohol, or drugs will often bring relief.
Another cause of congenital deafness in children arises from syphilis, specially if the mother happened to have this diseases during pregnancy. Whenever this is suspected, the child should be given large quantities of penicillin, 400,000 units a daily by injection for two or three weeks. Some doctors also favor the use of fever therapy.
Other causes of nerve deafness arise from skull fractures following falls the traffic accidents, especially if this involve the auditory or hearing nerve, or the blood vessels leading to the inner ear. Unfortunately, little can be done when these nerves or blood vessels are damaged or destroyed. A heavy expolsion may injure the ear drum and perhaps the cochlea as well. For this reason, boilermakers and men who have to work in noisy areas should always wear ear plugs or muffs to protect their ears, for contant noise will eventually damaged or destroy the nerves of hearing.